Stress in America 2023: A nation grappling with psychological impacts of collective trauma

U.S. society appears to be experiencing the psychological impacts of a collective trauma in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results of a new survey by the American Psychological Association. Psychologists warn that a superficial characterization of life being “back to normal” is obscuring the post-traumatic effects on mental and physical health.

Worries about artificial intelligence, surveillance at work may be connected to poor mental health

Employees’ concerns about the use of artificial intelligence and monitoring technologies in the workplace may be negatively related to their psychological well-being and lead them to feel less valued, according to a survey from the American Psychological Association.

“Well-being index” predicts population cardiovascular risk

Well-being index (WBI) is a comprehensive measure of an individual’s satisfaction with their career, social and community relationships, finances and health.  Researchers compared results from a Gallup national WBI survey to CDC cardiac death data, and found a nearly 14%…

Chula Researchers Find Chemicals in Sweat That Can Reveal “Extreme Stress and Depression” and Successfully Test Firefighters’ Mental Health for the First Time!

A team of researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, have found chemicals in sweat that indicate high stress and depression. The pilot study of firefighters in Bangkok yielded the results with 90% accuracy, so they are poised to conduct mental health screening in other high-stress, and high-risk groups of professions hoping to reduce mental health problems and violence in society.

Do Children Inherit Parents’ Stressful Experiences?

Scientists are discovering that a parent’s experiences can lead to changes in gene expression that are encoded in the sperm or egg and passed to offspring. In other words, there is a way in which offspring inherit the experiences of their parents. This is different than inheriting genes for brown or blue eyes. It’s more like inheriting genes that are switched on or off for the purpose of being better adapted to a particular environment.

Pandemic Alcohol Use Linked to Nervous System Disruption in Pregnant and Postpartum Women, Hinting at Novel Clinical Biomarker and Intervention Potential

Increased alcohol use among pregnant and postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with autonomic nervous system dysregulation, known to negatively affect resilience to change and further exacerbate the risk of stress-related mental health disorders and substance use, a new study suggests. The findings, although preliminary, underline the potential for a new clinical biomarker and novel personalized mobile health apps in facilitating treatment interventions. Previous research linked the pandemic to increased stress levels and drinking, including in pregnant and postpartum women. Alcohol use, and stress-related conditions such as depression and anxiety, are associated with dysregulation in the feedback loop between the body and the brain. This process involves the peripheral autonomic nervous system, which regulates the heartbeat. Healthy, resilient people tend to have higher heart rate variability than people with stress and substance use disorders. Heart rate variab

Binge Drinking and Night Shift Work Linked to Greater Likelihood of COVID Infection in Nurses

Working the night shift or binge drinking may double the risk of COVID-19 infection, according to a study of nurses published in Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research. Both alcohol misuse and night shift work have been shown to impact sleep and promote inflammation in the body, which has been linked to COVID disease severity. The findings from this study strongly suggest that alcohol and circadian misalignment contribute to the development of COVID disease in people exposed to the virus.

At-home yoga reduces anxiety, improves short-term memory

Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology designed a virtual eight-week moderate-intensity yoga program geared specifically toward full-time working adults experiencing symptoms of stress. The trial, which appeared in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, led participants through three self-paced remote workouts each week, assessed levels of stress and anxiety in addition to executive functioning. The results showed overall decreases in stress and anxiety.

Gene in the brain can put brakes on anxiety, discover scientists

A gene in the brain driving anxiety symptoms has been identified by an international team of scientists. Critically, modification of the gene is shown to reduce anxiety levels, offering an exciting novel drug target for anxiety disorders. The discovery, led by researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter, is published online today [25 April] in Nature Communications.

Injury Prevention Tips from UC San Diego Health Experts during National Basketball Tournament

While many are tuning in to watch the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament this weekend, cheering on their favorite team to win, accepting an unexpected loss or even inspired to hit the basketball court themselves, experts from UC San…

Prompt Treatment for Functional Neurological Disorder in Children Is Highly Effective

Treatment is scarce for functional neurological disorder (FND), which requires a multidisciplinary approach. A special report published in the March/April issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry (HRP) aims to show clinicians and institutions around the world what is needed to establish effective community treatment programs for FND, as well as hospital inpatient and outpatient interventions, in their own health care settings. HRP is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Early-life stress can disrupt maturation of brain’s reward circuits, promoting disorders

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 27, 2023 — A new brain connection discovered by University of California, Irvine researchers can explain how early-life stress and adversity trigger disrupted operation of the brain’s reward circuit, offering a new therapeutic target for treating mental illness. Impaired function of this circuit is thought to underlie several major disorders, such as depression, substance abuse and excessive risk-taking.

Learn CPR and Lower Your Stress: Mount Sinai Cardiologists Emphasize Their Importance During American Heart Month

Doctors warn about lack of knowledge of administering CPR, especially in high-risk groups, and the rise of stress-related heart issues

Stem Cell Study Reveals How Neurons From PTSD Patients React to Stress

Stem cell-derived neurons from combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) react differently to a stress hormone than those from veterans without PTSD, a finding that could provide insights into how genetics can make someone more susceptible to developing PTSD following trauma exposure.

UAlbany Study: Pandemic Had Disproportionate Impact on Female Educators

A new study by University at Albany researchers found that female educators experienced the COVID-19 pandemic more negatively than their male counterparts. The study, which was conducted by NYKids, a research-practice partnership housed within the University’s School of Education, adds to emerging research that is finding the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on women in the workforce, who have dropped out at much higher rates than men.

What if some stress actually protects your body?

Stress has been linked to all sorts of serious health issues, from insomnia to high blood pressure, obesity and even heart disease. But it’s generally acknowledged that some stress can also be helpful, like when someone’s chasing a work deadline. But what if some level of stress can actually protect the body? A new study by researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, with findings published Sept. 26 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests the immune system may benefit from a measure of stress.

Women’s mental well-being more sensitive to exercise than men’s during different stages of pandemic

Women’s mental health was more likely to be affected by physical exercise frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic than men’s, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.